Marketing teams are no exception. In an age where a mere 61% of marketing professionals believe that their current initiatives are effective, equipping your team with the latest and greatest tech trends is vital to streamlining your day-to-day processes and maximizing the ROI potential of your efforts.
At the same time, the sizable volume and variety of the different technology options have made the decision-making process overwhelming and difficult to navigate. With so many different products to choose from, how can you ensure that your team is investing in the best solutions to fit the particular needs of your specific business and industry?
In order to help you navigate the waters of an increasingly over saturated business tech market, we have compiled some of the leading strategies and technologies you should consider looking into while digitizing your workspace.
De-wire your desk space
Try picturing what your office space looked like 20, 10, or even just 2 years ago. As digital technology has become standardized in offices and home offices alike, the physical design and layout of workspaces have rapidly changed as well. But nothing has governed these changes in the workspace quite like the trend toward wireless business solutions. Marketers are trading in their hardwired phone handsets for portable cell phones and tablets. Computers with bulky towers are being switched out for slim, portable laptops. And many modern business tools offer digital alternatives to ensure that you can access all your business needs from a single device.
However, the implications of wireless work expand far beyond your office desk space. The ability to take your work with you has enabled many marketing teams and firms to provide competitive telecommuting benefits, such as work-from-home capabilities, soft seating within physical offices, and working through satellite branches, for their teams. This effectively enables marketing teams to take their office space with them—whether that means spending a few hours working in a coffee shop, from a hotel while visiting with clients or transitioning to a fully remote work schedule when necessary.
If you find that your marketing team continues to be bogged down by the physical limitations of your office space and want to make a change, unplugging your wires for good may not be as difficult a task as you’d expect. It’s important to develop an established, enforceable handbook around the parameters of your company’s flexible work opportunities. Work outside of the office also requires investments in technology that are easily transportable—search for solutions that offer mobile platforms, apps, and other compatibilities on top of their desktop offerings for an easy and effective transition.
Do your research
As with any major change to your business or tools, transforming your outdated workspaces for digital alternatives requires intensive planning and prior investigation before acting. Because technology shifts and evolves so rapidly, it is now best practice to find tools that are easily updatable as new versions launch and widely scalable to accommodate any growth your team experiences.
Below, we have included a few innovations that are most pertinent to marketing workflows to help you get started on your research journey.
Customer relationship management
The first piece of technology worth noting are mobile-friendly CRM platforms. While Customer Relationship Management tools are nothing new to the marketing field, recent advancements to cellular latency and processing speeds have made it possible to modify these familiar solutions for an on-the-go workforce. Mobile CRMs work by hosting your customer data through secure online networks, effectively enabling each member of your team to unlock the information they need, wherever and whenever they need it, to best service both new and existing customers and keep them coming back for more.
Advancements in technology have also revitalized communication workspaces to accommodate the growing trend toward virtual and remote work capabilities. Digitized Voice-over IP networks help marketing teams retire their bulky handheld phone sets in the office and replace them with a web-based solution that can travel with your teams. Voice over IP works by streamlining your voice messages into digital “packets” of information, which are then relayed over a broadband or Wi-Fi connection. In the context of strengthening marketing strategies, this technology not only helps unify marketing teams working outside traditional office parameters, but it also more easily integrates within your digital marketing suite when compared to an analog phone, keeping your marketers sharp and on the cutting edge of communication tool capabilities.
Fully virtualized platforms
Although many people know virtual reality within a commercial context—featured in new video games and full-immersion film experiences—many new technologies are leveraging VR-based marketing systems to enhance both customer and employee experiences. Virtual reality is one of the best ways to share immersive experiences with your customers around your brand and offerings. From full-fledged product tours to creating ad campaigns with an augmented reality component, the use-cases for virtual reality software are powerfully diverse, making its potential only confined by your team’s ability to innovate. A small investment in one or many of these workplace technologies can be the driving force of the success and growth of your business.
Equipping your marketing teams with the best and most innovative tools can be the defining factor that sets you ahead of the competition. Beyond the tools themselves, preparing your teams with the knowledge of how to use each of these tools effectively can make a big difference in customer satisfaction and retention. Because of this, thoroughly investigating which tools you plan to implement and providing proper training for your teams is more important than ever. Once you’ve introduced the tools to your teams, be sure to continue educating them on how to use updated versions or available tools to make sure your customers are receiving the best experience possible. What tools do you plan to improve or fully integrate into your business this year?